Help with a 77/22 Hornet

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Apr 2, 2006
Last fall I purchased a 77/22 Hornet from the estate of a friends father. I have been experimenting with it and cannot get the gun to shoot consistantly. I have made up a number of different load combinations and have found that 12.7 gr of Lil Gun, a small pistol primer and a 35 gr Hornady Vmax touching the lands has the best hope of accuracy. Still, I get a lot of inconsistancy. 5 shots will group well (1.5- 2 inches), then the next group will move 3-4 inches and have a flier or two that are off by 4 inches.
The gun is a standard model, built in 1996 and has very little use. The scope on it isn't great, in fact it is a cheapie BSA. I have checked it through a bore sighter and there is some variation due to paralax and magnification, but nothing I can see that would produce so much variation. I have checked the scope mounts and action screws for tightness. I really like the gun and was wondering if there were any suggestions. I am willing to spring for a new scope, but don't want to throw money at a gun that will never shoot well. If I can get 2 inch groups at 100yds, I'd be happy.
Would it be worth my time and money to bed the action and float the barrel?


Jan 12, 2009
Get rid of that POS BSA scope! Your groups and consistancy will improve dramatically.

Lloyd Smale

Aug 10, 2003
good scope, free float your barrel and switch to a cci small rifle match primer. My gun like the same load as yours but i use 12.4 grains and my groups shrink in half with cci match rifle primers.


Jun 8, 2009
i'm a big .22 hornet fan. my rifle is the savage model 40. it has been the most tedious round to reload that i have ever dealt with, but i feel like i'm doing ok with it at this point (a number of crumpled cases later). i don't do anything fancy ... use RCBS full-length dies, remington brass, and small pistol primers (CCI and remington). lube inside the case neck and outside when sizing, thats a must. i have used exclusively lil' gun powder, either 12 or 13 grains. doesnt seem to make a difference to me.

mine shoots with 40 g. sierra varminters:


33 g. speer TNT's


40 g. hornady v-maxes


doesn't really seem to matter. i could (and sometimes do) mix up primers and bullets and they would all go into a ragged hole like that, about .75".

i do think that the ruger small bores are better rifles ergonomically than the savages (thats why i own several), but they can be more finicky.

for example, the 77/22 mag i recently purchased does this with the ammo it doesnt like:


this with the ammo it does like (2 5-shot groups, 2nd group after scope adjustment):


i would recommend experimenting with different bullet weights (33 g. to 45 g. hornet-specific bullets are available) and try the match primers as mentioned above.

if you're getting shifting groups, and its not the scope or the mounts, and especially if you notice the shifting as the barrel heats up, then the rifle could probably benefit from free-floating.

good luck with it ... i really like the hornet cartridge and the 77/22 is a great rifle


Jan 4, 2000
For years, through 4 other Hornets I was satisfied with 1.5- 2 inch groups.
I said what the heck. I have a Bolt Action 77/22 Hoornet and it should shoot...
I went with a 45 grain bullet and 9.9 grains of 2400. I shoots a dime size group.

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